Moscow Ballet works locally and hands-on with over 50,000 American children over 20 years
2012 marks Moscow Ballet’s 20th anniversary year of touring the Great Russian Nutcracker in North America. This year also celebrates the participation of close to 60,000 children who have danced with Moscow Ballet company members as it tours to over 70 North American cities annually over 20 years. The local children’s participation in performances is part of Moscow Ballet’s New Horizons arts and education programming. Organizations, school districts or clubs can host Moscow Ballet’s New Horizons Arts Education program.
The commitment to delivering hands-on programming for American children began in 1972 when Moscow Ballet’s producers, Akiva Talmi and Mary Giannone, then directors of Connecticut Dance Theatre, invited Karel Shook, co-artistic director of Dance Theater of Harlem (DTH), to work with Hartford, CT’s North End Dance Troupe. Shook invited several students to study at DTH on scholarship. Among them was Charmaine Hunter, an extremely gifted young dancer, who became DTH’s 2nd Prima Ballerina, and star of Arthur Mitchell’s Fire Bird.
Moscow Ballet’s Educational Programming Projects - Overview
Moscow Ballet has been touring continental North America for over twenty years, wowing audiences again and again with Cinderella, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo & Juliet and, of course, the wonderful and unique Great Russian Nutcracker. Moscow Ballet has also been a leader in presenting educational programming that provides affordable children’s events, high quality master classes using the expertise of the best Russian ballerinas of modern times, and sponsoring and executing literacy campaigns with schools, universities and businesses. Among being some of the best dancers in the world, the Moscow Ballet ballerinas are also extremely generous in sharing their unique and invaluable artistic and cultural knowledge by leading Russian cultural lectures & dance demonstrations. The dancers of Moscow Ballet are experts, qualifying them as role models for healthy living due to the demands of their profession and their own personal drive to maintain excellent lifelong wellness. Below please find a brief synopsis of Moscow Ballet programming for children.
‘New Horizons: A Children’s Program for Life’ uses a “three-pronged” approach to a child’s health: addressing diet, exercise and creative expression through unique, interactive experiences rooted in the cultural and performing arts. Creativity, health and wellness through the lens of classical ballet is a unique and potentially life-changing experience for many children which Moscow Ballet dancers can provide in over 60 cities across North America. The New Horizons program also brings funds to the communities it serves, and can assist in the revitalization of a city’s arts and theatre districts. The program is available as a Day of Immersion in conjunction with a public performance or as a Week of Immersion during the summer months.
The Russian-Cultural Ballet project is designed as an introduction to dance and Russian culture for young children. There are a variety of hands-on activities led by a soloist from Moscow Ballet. Activities include character dance instruction, coloring, and puppetry projects, and language related worksheets. The Russian soloist performs for the children and teaches elements of Russian folkdance and/or sections of the Russian dance from the Great Russian Nutcracker. The dancers bring Russian crowns for the girls and sashes for the boys to decorate and bring home. For the youngest children, they often use large puppets from the productions.
During 2005, nine museums and art institution hosted the Russian Cultural Ballet Project: Springfield, MA Springfield Museums;Eau Claire, WI Children’s Museum of Eau Claire; Milwaukee, WI Betty Brinn Museum;Auburn, KY The Shaker Museum;Lincoln, NE Lincoln Children’s Museum;Chicago, IL Chicago Children's Museum;Nashville, NC The Nash Arts Center;Dallas, TX International Museum of Cultures; and E. Aurora, NY Explore & More…A Children’s Museum.
Cinderella Around the World
The “Cinderella Around the World” project was developed in conjunction with Moscow Ballet's full-length production of Cinderella. This is a dance and literacy program that combines Cinderella stories from diverse cultures with music and dance instruction to enrich the language arts curriculum for grades 2 through 6. This program was launched at the Conte Community School in Pittsfield, MA. Over a ten week period, Russian, Korean, Chinese, and West African dancers and musicians were brought in to conduct activities during and after school.
Summer Intensives and the Swan Lake Summer program
The Swan Lake Summer program offers a host of technique classes, repertory and performance, and choreography workshops. Segments of full-length ballets are taught. The Russian-Cultural Ballet project can be offered in conjunction with the summer program. If a ballet school has a relationship with a children's museum a combined event can be coordinated.
Moscow Ballet is a past recipient of a direct federal grant for Emergency School Aid for the reduction of minority isolation (ESAA), The Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA) for on the job training in arts and education and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, which helped fund four pilots for PBS television. The company has also worked with school systems to create tutor training programs supported by 21st Century Learning Center (CCLC) federal funds in San Antonio, TX, Dallas, TX, Americus, GA and Jackson, MS.
Moscow Ballet is a past recipient of federal grants and, in 1986, the Talmi’s toured ABT’s Prima Ballerina Cynthia Gregory in the “Celebration Tour” which championed the “Just Say No” campaign for children, First Lady Nancy Reagan was Honorary Chair. Children’s TV programs were produced and aired on PBS stations and GM sponsored the educational program New Horizons which was presented over a semester in 13 public elementary schools in San Antonio.
On a collegiate level, Talmi presented the “First International Glasnost Festival Tours 1987-92 which starred artists from the Bolshoi, Kirov and other world class ballet companies. The tour included symposiums, film screenings, poetry readings, Master Classes and more for students and the public in universities including Dartmouth, Yale, Middlebury, and Vanderbilt.
In 2011 and ’12 Moscow Ballet presented New Horizons – A Children’s Program for Life, a three-pronged approach to children’s health: addressing diet, exercise and creative expression through interactive experiences with Moscow Ballet dancer, rooted in the cultural and performing arts to over 5000 American school children.
Moscow Ballet is grateful for the invaluable help of leading arts educators, granting foundations and corporate sponsors across the country for supporting this work with American children. Organizations, school districts, or clubs can host New Horizons Arts Education program, contact JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING . www.nutcracker.com/support/history.
Recovery Acres Society
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Cynthia Gregory Tour
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Cynthia Gregory Tour 2
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